A Protester Threw Soup On A Van Gogh Painting Of Sunflowers In A Gallery

van gogh paintings
van gogh paintings

On Friday, people protesting against fossil fuels threw soup over “Sunflowers,” a famous painting by Vincent van Gogh from 1888. They did this at London’s National Gallery.

Two young women from the group Just Stop Oil threw the contents of two cans of Heinz tomato soup over a painting that the group said was worth $84.2 million.

Then, they stuck themselves to the wall under the painting with glue. The National Gallery confirmed that something happened in Room 43, where “Sunflowers” was on display, and gave an update on its condition in a tweet.

“The frame has some small cracks, but the painting is fine,” it said. In a later tweet, the gallery said that the painting was protected because it was glazed.

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that they were responding to the situation and that the protesters had been arrested on suspicion of “criminal damage and aggravated trespass.”

The protest on Friday is the latest in a long line of actions that have been done to famous works of art to bring attention to the role fossil fuels play in climate change. In London’s Royal Academy of Art in July, members of the group Just Stop Oil stuck themselves to a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

In the same month, activists from the group stuck themselves to a masterpiece in the National Gallery, and members of an Italian group of climate activists stuck themselves to Botticelli’s “Primavera” in Florence.

Sunday, climate activists from Extinction Rebellion were arrested at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne for sticking themselves to Picasso’s “Massacre in Korea.”

A statement from Just Stop Oil said that their action on Friday was timed “to coincide with the planned launch of a new round of oil and gas licensing” in the UK.

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